Megan Krakouer is a Menang activist, social justice advocate and law reformer. We yarned with Megan about what drives her, what she's calling for and why she is voting "yes" for a Voice to Parliament.
Megan Krakouer: To make sure we see children grow into adults and not die by their own hand when younger than teen years, or as teens when life should be there to grasp and enjoy, to experience the journey. I want all children to have hope, to have shining lights on their pathways, not avalanches of suffering and hopelessness.
I want families that struggle through no fault of their own, but do so because of the sins of a nation that refuses to redress, to atone, to be supported, respected, not given up on, not turned away.
I want an end to the rubbish of a strengths-based discourse only. That’s the oppressors’ gig, to shut down full view of the miseries they have created. I want the lived experience to tell their stories, so the nation is on a time-limited basis to respond.
MK: Governments are who are responsible, historically, and contemporaneously, for our disproportionate struggles as a people. The context of change is in their hands, and we must keep them to account to bring on that change in the immediate lifetimes of those who need change, who will die otherwise, who will be locked up otherwise, who will unbearably suffer otherwise. We cannot and should not let them off the hook, and that means all our people need to stand together, all for one, one for all, and no one should kowtow for funding for their service alone while talking up government as if it has contextualised change broadly when it has not – that sells out our people and this vice needs to be called out.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a managed brand, and nowhere near enough is being done across the corporates who reap unearned assets from the invader colony, who reap from the lands we walked thousands of generations. They can do much more and till as such time as they return a major share of their profits as redress, there should be on pats on the back, no kowtowing.
With benevolence, the majority tick their personal ego box, their White guilt redress legacy, but many have homogenous, or assimilationist expectations and others have arduously procurement processes that defeat the grassroots and those most in need. They can pat themselves on their backs all they want, share in the awards of the day, but their sins, for all the sinners, are inscribed in the repository of their memories even on the last day of life, and for many encrypted only for so long in the annals of history.
They can all do better. Will they? Most won’t. But we must keep on trying to educate them, and hold them accountable.
MK: The bar is low, it will not even be noticeable to most Australians during everyday living, but I see death all too often, premature, and unnatural. I see suffering insurmountable for the many in the now, so I cannot stand in the way of an incremental step in the right direction. Whether this step is betrayed or not, whether it delivers accountability and greater spending by governments on overcoming First Nations disadvantages, none of us should stand in the way of even this small step that howls it will be more than the symbolism many of us fear. Too many lives remain at risk for us to tamper hubris into our deliberations.